Friday, January 12, 2007

Design and Art (book)

This reader in Whitechapel's Documents of Contemporary Art series investigates the interchange between art and design. Since the the Pop and Minimalist eras--as the work of artists ranging from Andy Warhol to Dan Graham demonstrates--the traditional boundaries between art and architectural, graphic, and product design have dissolved in critically significant ways. Design and Art traces the rise of the "design-art" phenomenon through the writings of critics and practitioners active in both fields.

The texts include writings by Paul Rand, Hal Foster, Miwon Kwon, and others that set the parameters of the debate; utopian visions, including those of architect Peter Cook and writer Douglas Coupland; project descriptions by artists (among them Tobias Rehberger and Jorge Pardo) juxtaposed with theoretical writings; surveys of group practices by such collectives as N55 and Superflex; and views of the artist as mediator--a role assumed in the past to be the province of the designer--as seen in work by Frederick Kiesler, Ed Ruscha, and others. Finally, a book that doesn't privilege either the art world or the design world but puts them in dialogue with each other.

Contributors: David Bourdon, Peter Cook/Archigram, Douglas Coupland, Kees Dorst, Charles Eames, Experimental Jetset, Vilém Flusser, Hal Foster, Liam Gillick, Dan Graham, Clement Greenberg, Richard Hamilton, Donald Judd, Frederick Kiesler, Miwon Kwon, Maria Lind, M/M, N55, George Nelson, Lucy Orta, Jorge Pardo, Norman Potter, Rick Poynor, Paul Rand, Tobias Rehberger, Ed Ruscha, Joe Scanlan, Mary Anne Staniszewski, Superflex, Manfredo Tafuri, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Paul Virilio, Joep van Lieshout, Andy Warhol, Benjamin Weil, Mark Wigley, and Andrea Zittel.Alex Coles is a London-based art critic and lecturer. He is the author of DesignArt and a regular contributor to Art Monthly, Contemporary, Parachute, and Artext.


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I am exploring a hybrid form of art and design practice through the use of computer-based design and fabrication tools. I am interested in experimental objects and spaces that are dynamic and responsive and seek to challenge perceptions, expectations and established behavior.

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